Can A Weighted Blanket Lead to Weight Loss?
I had to write this post because I’ve seen multiple sensationalized claims that weighted blankets are a great way to lose weight.
A weighted blanket is more or less just a heavy blanket, it’s not some miracle weight loss cure that’s going to squish out fat.
The important thing to understand is that a weighted blanket may indirectly lead to weight loss by reducing anxiety and improving your sleep. But that comes with a number of caveats.
Why Sleeping Better Can Cause Weight Loss
There are a few different ways that sleeping better and sleeping more can help you lose weight.
It’s essentially the opposite of why insomnia often causes weight gain.
The biggest impacts sleeping better can have on weight include:
- Reduced hunger - Sleeping well leads to higher levels of leptin (hormone that signals you’re full) and lower levels of ghrelin (the “hunger” hormone).
- Less time to eat - If you find yourself snacking throughout the day, having less time to eat will typically cause you to eat fewer calories, which will lead to losing weight.
- Less fatigue - When you have more energy, you’re less likely to be lazy. It makes you more likely to do things like exercise, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Less stress and more stable mood - Having less stress and mood swings allow you to make better decisions. It’s a lot easier to put in effort at the gym or making something healthy in the kitchen when you’re not in distress.
All of these reasons have a decent amount of evidence behind them.
SummaryIf a weighted blanket helps you sleep significantly better, it may actually indirectly lead to weight loss.
Why a Weighted Blanket Won’t Always Cause Weight Loss
That all sounds great, but there are some big caveats that need to be clearly understood. I don’t like when people are misled or oversold on products like I’ve seen in other online articles lately.
First, a weighted blanket doesn’t always improve sleep. While there is promising evidence behind using weighted blankets for anxiety and insomnia, the effects are situational:
- Weighted blankets typically work best when someone has an anxiety disorder (or insomnia caused by anxiety). It isn’t going to do much if your sleep issues are caused by other things.
- It’s not going to fix sleep issues if you don’t have them in the first place. If you sleep fine but just want a weighted blanket because you heard they cause weight loss, you’re very unlikely to see that effect.
- Weighted blankets are not a cure for insomnia by themselves. They can help reduce symptoms in some conditions, but even then they may not improve sleep enough to cause the benefits that lead to weight loss that we looked at before.
A final note is that even if someone has insomnia caused by sleep anxiety, they may still exercise and eat relatively well. The benefits of a weighted blanket may still be worth it, but may not indirectly lead to as much weight loss as someone would hope for.
Summary: Will a Weighted Blanket Cause Weight Loss?
The bottom line is that if a weighted blanket can help someone sleep significantly better, it can lead to positive changes in decision making and even hormone levels that make weight loss more likely.
However, weighted blankets don’t always work, and don’t always produce as large of an effect as you might think.
So while they might indirectly cause weight loss in some cases, it certainly shouldn’t be an expectation.
At the same time, if you do believe that a weighted blanket will improve your sleep, it’s worth a try for the general quality of life benefits that it may come with.
My goal with this post wasn’t to try and scare people away from weighted blankets (because they can have great effects), only to make sure that any purchases are made for the right reasons.
Medical Disclaimer: The information on SnoozeUniversity.com is not intended to be a substitute for physician or other qualified care. We simply aim to inform people struggling with sleep issues about the nature of their condition and/or prescribed treatment.